Timeline of Actions Related to S.S. Badger
May 2015 - EPA’s inspector confirms that the S.S. Badger’s mechanism to discharge coal ash has been removed and replaced with a system to retain coal ash. The new system will transport ash from the ship’s four boilers to four retention bins on the car deck. EPA required LMC to eliminate the discharge of coal ash into Lake Michigan by the end of the 2014 sailing season.
October 29, 2013 - LMC pays a civil penalty in the amount of $25,000 plus interest as stipulated under the consent decree.
Oct. 10, 2013 – Court approves the revised consent decree.
Sept. 13, 2013 - EPA announces the filing of a motion to enter a revised consent decree that requires LMC to cease the discharge of coal ash from the S.S. Badger at the end of the 2014 sailing season.
News release: EPA Strengthens S.S. Badger Consent Decree in Response to Public Comments; Penalties Increased for Failing to Cease Coal Ash Discharge to Lake Michigan at End of 2014 Sailing Season - Sept. 13, 2013
March 22, 2013 — EPA announces the lodging of a proposed consent decree that requires LMC to eliminate the discharge of coal ash into Lake Michigan by the end of the 2014 sailing season.
News Release: S.S. Badger Coal Ash Discharge to Lake Michigan to Cease by End of 2014 Sailing Season - March 22, 2013
Sept. 28, 2012 — EPA receives information requested in the Aug. 9, 2012, letter and a Clean Water Act §308 request in a number of submissions. EPA begins the review of the information and works towards preparing a draft permitting decision.
Aug. 29, 2012 — EPA notifies LMC that their permit application is complete. In the letter, EPA identifies information in the application that requires clarification and that would allow EPA to make a final permit decision. EPA requests that LMC provide this information by Sept. 28.
Aug. 16, 2012 — LMC sends a letter to Regional Administrator Susan Hedman stating that they learned of a new and more encompassing approach to ash retention that may make that option for controlling the ash discharge more viable than previously thought.
July 25, 2012 — LMC provides a response to EPA's July 18, 2012, letter indicating that EPA's determination of an incomplete application was not consistent with the applicable regulations. They also state that they did not understand that EPA's Feb. 24, 2012, letter unconditionally required the submission of five coal ash effluent samples and two ambient lake water samples.
July 18, 2012 — EPA notifies LMC that the permit application submitted on May 23, 2012, was incomplete, consistent with 40 C.F.R. §124.3. EPA finds that the application did not contain the five coal ash samples and two ambient lake water samples required by EPA in its letter dated Feb. 24, 2012. EPA acknowledges that the company had submitted additional effluent samples that may address the deficiency identified in EPA's letter, but that the effluent data could not be fully reviewed prior to the end of sixty day review period set out in the regulations.
June 22, 2012 —LMC responds to EPA's June 20, 2012, letter indicating that they will provide three additional effluent samples and one additional lake water sample. These samples will be collected and analyzed using the same methodology as the samples submitted on June 21, 2012.
June 21, 2012 — LMC submits documents for the effluent sampling that occurred in early June. Two samples were collected and analyzed and the preliminary results provided to EPA.
June 20, 2012 — EPA sends LMC a letter with preliminary comments on the permit application materials submitted on May 23, 2012. EPA identifies issues with the one effluent data sample provided with the application and the failure to submit the 5 samples required in EPA's Feb. 24, 2012, letter.
May 23, 2012 — EPA receives application forms and supplemental information from LMC. The company indicates in the cover letter to the May 23, 2012, submission that they will conduct additional effluent sampling in early June 2012.
Feb. 24, 2012 — EPA requests additional information from the company necessary for the application.
Feb. 6, 2012 — EPA requires LMC to apply for a NPDES individual permit because it anticipates that the discharge of coal ash from the S.S. Badger will continue beyond Dec. 19, 2012, when authorization for that discharge under the 2008 Vessel General Permit ceases. EPA requires LMC to submit the complete permit application no later than June 29, 2012.
Nov. 2, 2011 — EPA receives a petition under 40 C.F.R. §122.28 (b)(3)(i) from LMC regarding the discharge of coal-ash slurry from the vessel. This petition requests that the company be required to apply for and obtain an NPDES individual permit for its vessel rather than continue coverage under the 2008 Vessel General Permit.